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Piyush Gopal, Commerce and Industry minister, on Thursday, chaired the advisory council meeting of the open network digital commerce (ONDC), that seeks to promote open networks for all the aspects of exchange of goods and services over electronic networks. As per information from the meeting, it is said that seven companies, including a buyer-side and five seller-side apps, have adopted the ONDC protocols and built their own ONDC-compatible apps. These apps have completed the cascaded transactions across the ONDC network during the pilot phase held in five cities, Bengaluru, New Delhi, Bhopal, Shillong and Coimbatore. The meeting also discussed plans for a faster rollout of the platform to a large number of traders, companies and geographies.
“The success achieved has ignited tremendous interest in many new companies and a large number of companies on the buyer side, seller side and logistics side are now building their own apps and are in advanced stages of integration with ONDC,” said the ministry of commerce and industry in a statement.
“The national consumer helpline records show that major grievances of consumers are related to the delivery of wrong, defective or damaged products, non-delivery or delayed delivery, no refunds as promised and deficiency in services promised. All these issues must be addressed effectively,” the statement added.
While addressing the occasion, Goyal stated that ONDC will open up new opportunities for small traders, MSMEs and businesses. In his words, “While the pilot phase of ONDC has given promising results with traders who were already digitally present, ONDC must prioritize strategies towards inclusion of non-digital traders, handicraftsmen and artisans so that the benefits of e-commerce may be availed by these sections. The local trader associations should also be involved in the exercises and necessary measures for awareness on generation and capacity building of various stakeholders be taken.”
Open network for digital commerce (ONDC)
ONDC, an open technology, based on an open protocol that will enable local commerce across segments, such as mobility, grocery, food order and delivery, hotel booking and travel among others to be discovered and engaged by any network-enabled application.
Surfing through the earlier reports, the idea of ONDC came up in 2020 in order to standardize and streamline the country’s e-commerce industry. During the initial platform aimed to support payment gateways and offer delivery and logistics services.
Commenting on the impact of ONDC in startup ecosystem, Rikant Pitti, co-founder of EaseMyTrip, said in a statement, “With the launch of ONDC, there are lot of opportunities for startups to directly connect with its customers globally. I believe a lot of traction will be coming in and with the support of the government and people who have built the e-commerce industry, this is going to be a game changer.”
As per recent reports, it is said that ONDC partners with NABARD to activate e-commerce in the agricultural sector. For that, ONDC and NABARD together plans to host a grand hackathon, with an aim to establish market linkages for the enabled players with market-ready farmers producer organizations (FPOs) in the country.